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Butchart Gardens Lights Up The Holidays With The Magic Of Christmas

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The most magical time of the year is upon us. Neither cold nor rain will dampen the enthusiasm of the thousands of holiday revellers that will make their annual pilgrimage to Butchart Gardens in Victoria, BC. Celebrating its 30th year The Magic of Christmas is the penultimate holiday lights extravaganza in the Pacific Northwest. One private family estate, 55 acres of gardens and over 500,000 Christmas lights equals a holiday spectacular on a scale only Santa and his Elves could create. The Magic of Christmas is on now until January 6th, and it truly is magical for all ages.

The Magic of Christmas lit up throughout the Sunken Garden

If you are like me and visiting Victoria for a weekend without a car don’t worry. CVS Tours offer a shuttle service from downtown Victoria to the gardens and back again. The ticket and pick up location is right in front of the Fairmont Empress on Government Street. Just look for the big orange bus.

CVS Tour bus & ticket location in front of the Fairmont Empress

Once on board, your driver will regale you with stories about Victoria and Butchart Gardens. The drive is approximately 45 minutes long and if the windows don’t fog up due to too much rain the view along the route is very pretty.

When you arrive at Butchart Gardens remember where you were dropped off as that is also the pickup location for the return shuttle to downtown Victoria. If you didn’t bring an umbrella and it is raining out not to worry. The gardens have plenty of umbrellas on hand that they loan out during our visit.

Map of the Magic of Christmas at Butchart Gardens

The Magic of Christmas begins as soon as it gets dark out. Plan your visit to start at around 5 pm. If you arrive a bit early head into one of the three dining restaurant options and grab a bite to eat or a flavoured hot chocolate to warm your hands while you walk the gardens.

There is no right or wrong way to experience the Magic of Christmas at Butchart Gardens but I would recommend you start at the largest garden on the grounds, the Sunken Garden. If you were to but the remaining three gardens together they would not equal the size and scope of the Sunken Garden. This is where Butchart Gardens began over 100 years ago with the designs and ideas of Jennie Butchart and I am sure she would be proud to see them today.

Map of The Magic of Christmas holiday display at Butchart Gardens

WOW, is the only word to describe the feeling when you first look down into the garden. Wow. Take your time and explore every inch because there are hidden nooks and glens you may not realize if you don’t pay attention. This is the before and after of part of the Sunken Garden.


The Sunken Garden before the lits get turned on for the Magic of Christmas


The Magic of Christmas lit up throughout the Sunken Garden

Make sure you check out the Ross Fountain. This photo doesn’t really do the fountain justice.

Lit up fountains at the Ross Fountain at Butchart Gardens

This is my favourite tree in the entire garden.

My favourite tree lit up with lights

My photos don’t really do the Magic of Christmas justice. I hope it is on your calendar to experience this holiday season because it is truly one of the joys of Christmas.

Butchart Gardens is a National Historic Site of Canada and one of the most beautiful gardens you will ever visit. In the summer months, the four gardens will take your breath away with the dazzling display of colours and Mother Nature’s beauty. During the winter months, the gardens are transformed into a magical winter light show with the 12 Days of Christmas the main theme. The Magic of Christmas runs from Dec 1st until January 6th, 2018.

The Magic of Christmas on display at Butchart Gardens

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Disclosure: General

Thanks to Tourism Victoria and Butchart Gardens for having me as a guest at the lighting ceremony. My views and opinions are 100% my own.

About Author

Marc Smith is a former event planner turned vagabond adventurer. He loves strong Americano's, great wine, cold beer and zip lining over tree tops. Formerly of Vancouver, most of Marc's time when not travelling is in Canada's largest city, Toronto. Follow along on his nomad adventures and discover places to stay, things to do and where to eat & drink as he explores the world one city and region at a time.

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